Associate of Arts (A.A.)

The Department of Applied Arts and Sciences offers the Associate of Arts degree. The Associate of Arts degree is considered a general education transfer degree and does not include a major or minor course of study. To receive an Associate of Arts degree, students must:

  • successfully complete all lower-division general education requirements with a letter grade of C- or better;
  • earn a minimum of 60 credits, at least 30 of which must be from UM;
  • and maintain an institutional cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all UM courses taken for a traditional letter grade (A-F).

Matriculating students may begin coursework in the autumn, spring or summer. Courses numbered below 100 do not count toward the 60 credit requirement or general education course requirements, but do fulfill financial aid credit load requirements. 

Students planning on completing a baccalaureate degree are encouraged to select specific general education courses and electives that meet the requirements for that future major. Students work with their advisor to develop an AA degree plan to best prepare them to transition to a four-year degree.

Baccalaureate Tracks and Emphasis Areas within the Associate of Arts Degree

Although the AA degree does not include a major or minor courses of study, students may elect to choose coursework that is part of a specific area of interest. Baccalaureate tracks are specific plans of study designed to help students earn an AA degree while simultaneously working towards UM baccalaureate degree requirements. Missoula College has worked with individual UM Departments to forge agreements to ensure that students completing baccalaureate tracks will enter into the major with numerous major requirements already fulfilled.

Recognized baccaluareate tracks within the Associate of Arts degree include:

  • Business
  • Chemical and Addiction Studies (by pursuing this emphasis, students complete both a general Associate of Arts degree and the preparatory coursework required to become a licensed addictions counselor.)
  • Communication Science and Disorders
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Health IT
  • Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management
  • Police Science/Sociology (for individuals attending the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, a specialized Associate of Arts degree is offered through a collaboration among Missoula College UM, the University of Montana Department Of Sociology, and the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in Helena, MT.)
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Concentrations within the Associate of Arts Degree

Similar to pathways or areas of emphasis within the AA degree, concentrations are meant to help students focus on a specific area of interest. Unlike areas of emphasis, these concentrations are recorded on the student’s transcript as a concentration of the AA degree itself. Recognized concentrations of the Associate of Arts degree include:

  • Communication Studies
  • Professional Communication

The goal of these concentrations is to provide students with an opportunity to receive an AA degree with a focus on an area that is of increasing demand to employers. In addition, these concentrations help prepare students for matriculation into a major program in Communication Studies. Students interested in pursuing the AA with one of the communication concentrations should contact Kimberly Reiser (


An “R” after the course title indicates students may earn credit for each successful completion to the maximum number indicated after the “R.” Credits earned beyond this maximum will not count towards the total required for the AA degree.

Associate of Arts - General AA

Missoula College

Degree Specific Credits: 60

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

Catalog Year: 2018-2019

Note: The AA degree has three requirements:

  1. completion of UM's lower-division General Education Requirements (GERs),
  2. a minimum of 60 total earned credits, and
  3. a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

At least 30 of the total 60 degree credits must be earned from Missoula College or UM-Missoula. Missoula College students are limited to enrolling in lower-division coursework (course level 100 or 200).


Expressive Arts
Historical & Cultural Studies
Literary & Artistic Studies
Social Sciences
Ethical & Human Values
Democracy and Citizenship Perspectives
Cultural and International Diversity Perspectives
Natural Sciences
Writing Skills6
AA Degree Electives13-27
Total Hours43-64


Rule: Any Mathematics course level 104 or higher (excluding M 111).

Note: Appropriate placement into mathematics courses required. Prerequisites may apply. If a student successfully places into and completes a mathematics (either "M" or "STAT") course that is also considered a Symbolic System, that course may be used to count towards both the Mathematics and Symbolic Systems General Education Requirements.

Minimum Required Grade: C-

3-4 Total Credits Required


Rule: A minimum of 3 credits towards each Perspective Category is required.

Note: Some courses satisfy multiple Perspectives or GER Categories; visit with your advisor for more information. Students who take the maximum number of Perspective "double-dippers" possible will be able to complete the Perspectives with a total of 21 credits.

Minimum Required Grade: C-

21-27 Total Credits Required

Expressive Arts (A)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Literary & Artistic Studies (L)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Historical & Cultural Studies (H)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Social Sciences (S)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Ethical & Human Values (E)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Democracy and Citizenship (Y)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Cultural and International Diversityectives (X)

Rule: A minimum of three credits is required.

Natural Sciences (N)

Rule: A minimum of six credits is required. At least one course must have a laboratory component.

Writing Skills

Rule: Both WRIT 101 AND an Approved Writing Course are required.

Note: NOTE: Students who place into and successfully complete WRIT 201 are considered to have satisfied both the WRIT 101 and the Lower-Division Approved Writing Course General Education Requirements.

Minimum Required Grade: C-

6 Total Credits Required

WRIT 101

Rule: Take 1 of the courses below.

Note: Appropriate placement into WRIT 101/ WRIT 201 required. Prerequisites may apply.

WRIT 101College Writing I3
or WRIT 201 College Writing II

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Lower-Division Approved Writing Course

Rule: Any course designated as an Approved Writing Course during semester it's taken.

AA Degree Electives

Rule: Number of elective credits required varies; student needs to ensure s/he earns at least 60 total credits for the AA degree.

Note: Transfer students may count up to 30 transfer credits towards the total 60 necessary for degree. A maximum of 15 technical credits may be counted towards the total 60. (A student may use 20 technical credits towards the 60 if s/he has earned an AAS degree.)

13-27 Total Credits Required

Health Care Informatics Track Requirements

Rule: All courses are required

This is an advising track only and not an official program as recognized by the University of Montana (UM) or the Montana University System. This information will not appear on your UM transcript, diploma, university lists, student data system, or university publication. You do not fill out a major change for a track.

AHMS 144Medical Terminology3
CSCI 105Computer Fluency3
CSCI 110Programming - VB I3
CSCI 172Intro to Computer Modeling3
CSCI 240Databases and SQL3
HIT 101Intro to Healthcare Informatic3
HIT 265Electronic Health Records3
ITS 150CCNA 1: Exploration3
ITS 165OS Commands and Scripts3
ITS 210Network OS - Desktop3
ITS 280Computer Repair & Maint.3
ITS 289Professional Certification1
Total Hours34

Minimum Required Grade: C-